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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified MD
Category: Endocrinology
Satisfied Customers: 48708
Experience:  Board Certified Physician
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Hi, Since the age of around 13 Ive always had oily skin

Customer Question


Since the age of around 13 I've always had oily skin - particularly across the bottom of my forehead, down my nose, and round my mouth and chin, and also oily hair. In my early teens it caused very mild acne but it gradually went away (I started taking combined pill when I was 16 and was prescribed a cream by my GP to deal with any flare ups). I tried a couple of different combined pills, can't remember when I changed, but started to get migraines at 17 or 18. They were particularly painful for the first year or so, but later I would still get the disturbed vision for half an hour followed by only a slight headache. This went on for years until one of the GPs I saw started asking questions when I went in for my repeat prescription of Dianette. I was changed to the mini pill (aged 25) which took about a year to settle into a pattern but gradually my migraines disappeared completely. My skin remained the same.

I'm now 29 and had a baby 7 months ago. My skin didn't change at all during pregnancy. About 3 months after child birth my hair started falling out, which I now understand from seeing my GP. But also around the same time my young looking oily skin became dry and old looking. It seems like its lost all elasticity and I've aged about 5 years. My full blood count, thyroid function tests, serum ferritin, red blood cells, folate and vitamin B12 have all come back as normal. I've recently seen a dermatologist and he says my skin is in normal range, but I know that it's not normal for MY skin. I'm no longer breast feeding, and have had two normal periods but havent started taking the pill again yet as I'm worried about making my skin worse. Something the dermatologist said made me wonder if taking the mini pill again could potentially make my skin oily again? Or would that be the combined pill?

Any advice would be much appreciated, I'm sick of people telling me my skin is fine and to forget about it, especially when they hadn't seen my skin before so how can they judge! I'd just like to know if there could be a hormonal explanation, and if so what might help return it to its original state?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Endocrinology
Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.
This is Dr. David

what was the TSH of your blood draw?

minipill you mean a low dose birth control pill? have you tried this yet?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi Dr David,


I don't know the TSH of my blood test my GP just told me it was normal,


Minipill - progesterone only pill ('Cerazette' - Desogestrel 75 micrograms),


Until 25 I was on the combined pill Dianette,


No I haven't tried taking Cerazette again yet,

Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.
pregnancy can often change the nature of your skin.

find out what your TSH levels were and see if they are between 0.3 and 3.0.

high TSH levels can cause dry skin and weight gain if your TSH levels are above 3.0

and low TSH levels below 0.3 can mean hyperthyroidism which can cause dry itchy skin as well

everyone's skin is different

getting at a simple hormone change explanation to explain your skin change is often not easy.

you can consult an endocrinologist and have every hormone level drawn and checked in the book

there is a chance they could find something that is causing your skin not to be so oily.

but you have not had a complete hormone panel before so it will be hard to know what hormone levels have changed in your body most recently to affect your skin